Walking for a Dream
Many first-timers were among about 100 people who participated in this year's Martin Luther King Jr. Day walk.
Farmington School Board member Howard Wallach admitted that one of the dreams he shared during Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at Farmington Community Library Main Library was a little bit selfish.
But it was likely shared by about 100 adults and children who traveled on foot in 19-degree weather to the library from Prince of Peace Lutheran Church this morning.
"I have a dream that one day, while I am still able to participate in this walk, the temperature will be at least 45 degrees," Wallach said to an appreciative crowd gathered in the library's second floor auditorium.
The one-third mile trek kicked off the "A Day On, Not A Day Off" event, which included a performance by the East Middle School choir, poet T. Miller and storyteller Rosie Chapman. Keynote speaker was performer and educator Josh White Jr.
Participants first gathered at Prince of Peace, where Servant Church of St. Alexander Deacon Mark Springer led an interactive version of Bill Withers' 1972 hit, "Lean on Me." When "A Day On, Not A Day Off" co-chair Tanji Grant asked how many first-timers were in attendance, a large number of hands went up.
Megan Olson of Farmington Hills and her 9-year-old daughter, Talia, were among those braving the cold and snow for the first time. The Olson family recently moved back to Michigan after spending four years in Germany.
Asked what brought them out for the walk, Megan said: "Talia. Her class at Beechview has been studying about Martin Luther King Jr. She's been excited about coming to the library all week long."
Talia said she learned that King "was trying to get people together."
Another first-timer was 3-year-old James Johnson, who came with his mother, Sekeitn Lewis-Johnson of Farmington Hills. James was the youngest walker, but he comes from a family who has participated in previous years.
"My daughter was 5 when she made her first walk," Lewis-Johnson said.
Walkers were rewarded with hot beverages and baked goods when they arrived at the library. "A Day On, Not a Day Off" was sponsored by the Multicultural Multiracial Community Council, Farmington Public Schools, the cities of Farmington and Farmington Hills, and the Farmington Community Library.